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ANN ARBOR, MI – A transportation system that would connect the University of Michigan’s north, central and south campuses is looking for a provider to implement the plan, officials said.

Potential vendors will attend a virtual industry day on Thursday, June 6, to get an overview of the project. According to a university press release, university officials plan to request vendor qualifications this summer and invite potential partners to collaborate.

The system, currently called the Campus Connector, would consist of a central automated transportation system serving hubs on the three Ann Arbor campuses on an elevated track, officials said. There would also be an additional high-efficiency, high-capacity bus rapid transit system, officials said.

The goal of the process is to create a “better connected and more unified campus in Ann Arbor,” said Geoff Chatas, the university’s chief financial officer, in a statement.

“As our university community grows, so does the need for a more efficient transportation network,” he said. “Although we have explored the Campus Connector before, we are excited to relaunch this initiative, work with surrounding communities, and explore ways to build a system that is fast, convenient, environmentally sustainable, and equitable.”

The Campus Connector is one of the concepts outlined in the updated maps for the Campus Plan 2050 initiative, which includes a 25-year development plan for the university. The university had previously sought to partner with the city of Ann Arbor and other regional stakeholders on the project.

Read more: See updated maps for the University of Michigan’s 25-year construction plan

The automated system would not split roads, so university officials expect the project will reduce local traffic congestion. The other hope is that it will reduce the need for parking and bring more foot traffic to the North Campus stations due to more convenient transportation, officials said.

Another benefit of the project is that it will bring the university closer to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2040, officials said. The Campus Connector’s energy needs will increase, but commuter carbon emissions will decrease, officials said.

According to official information, the transport system will be entirely powered by renewable energy.

More information on the transportation system’s potential technologies, routes and funding sources will be announced as the project progresses, officials said.

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